Pikes Peak – March 2006

Eight years and a week ago we were up the side of Pikes Peak without a paddle (we hardly ever travel with one). That’s right, we were traveling the Pikes Peak Highway, heading up to the Devil’s Playground area.

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What you are looking at is the upper portion of Pikes Peak, as viewed from Crystal Lake Reservoir, also on Pikes Peak. The road itself can be seen zig-zagging up the side of the mountain on the left side of the photo. Before I show a closer shot, here’s a more artistic view of the area.

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Eh . . . maybe the first one is better. Anyway, the road can be seen between the two trees.

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Now that you know where to look, you can go back to the first photo, and you’ll spot the road right away. The summit itself is at the left of the photo, and again, if you look at the larger view of the first photo (or go to the SmugMug Gallery HERE) you can make out the building atop the mountain . . . the road runs along the visible ridge, and ends at that building (usually open if the road is open). You can also get there by the cog railroad coming up from Manitu Springs.

Devil’s Playground is at the top of the visible zig-zag in the road, just above the treeline (12,000 ft). There is a gully you can’t see from here, right behind that road. It’s a beautiful area, both in summer and winter.

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You missed them, didn’t you. Don’t feel bad, I did too. This place is big; bigger than it looks. Here, let me help.

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Did you see the others?

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They had skied down from the top of the Devil’s Playground area. That slope is hard to judge, but I can attest to it being very steep . . . and to not knowing why they had dug out a square in the middle of the slope.

But they did use it . . . 

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There are four guys visible in the above photos, and then three started heading back up.

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. . . I looked for the other guy, but could not spot him. He had just disappeared.

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Actually, he’s with the gear to the right of the square cut in the snow. He’s against one of the rocks, and blends in pretty well. 

We were prepared to wait until they made their way back up, just so we could see them ski down (I kept wondering about rocks that might be just below the surface, but they had obviously already made it down once), but they stopped to chat . . . 

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Eventually we tired, especially since it looked as if it would take them a while to climb back up.

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You can see the tracks they left from their prior descent. By the way, all of these were shot with my 80-400mm lens . . . these guys were not close.

That’s it. That’s what I was doing eight years and a week ago.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thinking Outside the Box
Thinking Outside the Box

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

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